Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required to Earn the Degree: 45

Required Courses:

Core Courses
CSCD 5411Psycholinguistics3
CSCD 5730Topics in Speech, Language and Hearing (2 terms)6
HRPR 5001Current and Emerging Issues in Public Health and Health Professions0
PHIL 5216Philosophy of Science3
Research and Statistics Courses 1
EPBI 5002Biostatistics3
EPBI 5201Epidemiological Research Methods I3
EPBI 8012Multivariable Biostatistics3
EPBI 8212Grantsmanship in Health Research3
HRPR 5999Research Experience in Health Professions0
Statistics and Methodology Electives
Select two from the following: 26
ABA 5305
Single Subject Research Design
EPBI 8201
Structural Equation Modeling
EPBI 8204
Multilev Mod in Int Res
Content Area Electives
Select three from the following: 39
CSCD 8727
Written Language Development and Disorders
CSCD 8729
Neurocognitive Language Disorders
HRPR 8985
Teaching in Higher Education: Health Professions
HRPR 8987
Teaching in Higher Education Practicum
NMS 9627
Neuromotor Science 3: Cognition and Learning
PSY 8005
Affective Neuroscience
PSY 8310
Topical Seminar in Cognitive Psychology
PSY 8312
Core Course in Cognitive Psychology
PSY 8513
Research Courses
CSCD 9994Preliminary Examination Preparation1
CSCD 9998Pre-Dissertation Research2
CSCD 9999Dissertation Research3
Total Credit Hours45

With approvals from the mentor, PhD Program Director, and department chair, students may select alternate courses to fulfill the Research and Statistics course requirement.


With approval from the PhD Program Director, students may select alternate courses as Statistics and Methodology electives.


With approval from the PhD Program Director, students may select alternate courses as Content Area electives.

Minimum Grade to be Earned for All Required Courses: B-

Culminating Events:
Preliminary Examination:
The preliminary examination is undertaken when the student has completed all other requirements for advancement to candidacy, but no later than the end of the third year of study. Specifically, students are expected to have produced at least two publishable manuscripts and completed all coursework prior to registering for the exam. Students should have successfully presented the first-year project and second-year evaluation.

The examination itself includes a written examination and an oral defense. The written examination consists of three to five questions developed by the student’s committee and approved by the PhD Program Director and department chair. Students have two weeks to complete the written examination. At least one question addresses methodology and the other two are on distinct but related topics close to the student’s area of research. Upon submission of the written examination, the student orally defends the written responses in a meeting of graduate faculty. At a minimum, the student’s committee, the PhD Program Director, and department chair are present. The student must pass the preliminary examination in no more than two attempts. The Doctoral Advisory Committee evaluates the exam on a pass/fail basis. All judgments are by committee consensus.

The preliminary examination prepares students to write a data-driven dissertation proposal, which is a prospectus with literature review and proposed methodology. When the student has successfully defended the preliminary examination and submitted an approved prospectus, the student has ascended to doctoral candidacy.

The dissertation is an original study that makes a significant and publishable contribution to the field. It should demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the theoretical and empirical literature in the area of investigation. It should also be of sound and rigorous methodology. Original research of quality appropriate for publication in a first-tier national journal is expected.

Graduate School guidelines for announcing the defense are followed. Notice is given through postings, email and listserv announcements. The defense lasts two hours.